Project update: full steam ahead at the Coal Loader

18 Sep 2016

As the Coal Loader nears our completion date we enter one of the more technical phases of the project, the partial demolition of the hundred-year-old hand-made concrete walls in tunnel one.  This amazing structure with its cathedral-like ceilings will prove challenging for both contractor and engineers as we navigate the removal of approximately 300 tons of concrete.

Once removed, the open space will create a mezzanine viewing platform allowing public access to the historic Mead Morrison Feeder Engine, believed to be the last of its kind. With the Entry Storage structure almost there and the Solar Trackers following the sun, we can’t wait to see this unique public open space activated.

Project Summary

The Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability redevelopment is part of the Waverton Peninsula Strategic Master Plan. Glascott completed Stage 2 of the project in 2011 and are currently working on Stage 4 – the final stage which sees the transformation of the old coal-loading platform into one of Sydney’s largest publicly accessible green roofs.

Situated on Sydney Harbour, the concrete and sandstone platform structure is one hectare in size (approximately the length of seven Olympic-sized swimming pools end-to-end) and when complete will be a multi-purpose recreational space. The green roof will house community ‘urban harvest’ plots irrigated by recycled stormwater, a performance and exhibition space, extensive seating and viewing areas, as well as heritage interpretation of the original coal loading operations.

Scope overview

  • Detailed restoration of the sandstone/handmade concrete tunnels and chambers, coal loader platform, upper catwalk to west and east apron Balls Head interface.
  • Delicate restoration of existing heritage elements for interpretive reuse, including the old loading chutes and clamshell’s in the tunnels.
  • A new cantilevered glass lift with associated timber viewing platforms and bridges.
  • Redevelopment of the eastern apron into a terraced open space area consisting of in situ off-form walling, dry stack sandstone walling and stairs, creating pedestrian links to Balls Head.
  • Transformation of the existing platform area into an open space via a green roof with various interpretive surfaces, mass planting and rain garden areas, open lawn area, all fully-irrigated with recycled site captured water.
  • Main Entry Structure consisting of suspended concrete viewing platform, accessibility ramp, green walls, sandstone cladding, recycled timber decks, plant rooms and storage space beneath.
  • Extensive service upgrade including electrical, hydraulics, stormwater drainage, fire.
  • Tunnel 3 features 50 slim line tanks storing 225,000 litres of stormwater for irrigation.
  • Tunnel 2 features Trafficable Glass and mesh Skylights to illuminate the Balls Head walking track.
  • 5 Tracking Solar arrays +  64 large solar panels to power the green roof and Sustainability Centre.